Recycling, reusing and rehoming books

Recycling, reusing and rehoming books

Be good to books and they'll be good to you

Before the book lovers out there get angsty, it is a sin to destroy a good book. But a bad book? That is morally in question. Why inflict it on somebody else?
Beware… If you are one of the book worshippers who forbid damaging any book, avoid sections of the recycle column. ​

A love of books is a love of learning, escaping and adventure. Here in the Appleby household, there are around 250 books ranging from fictional… anthologies of short stories, poetry, plays, novels (of every genre: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, comedy, contemporary, historical, classics)… to non-fiction covering literary theories, writing guides, philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, essays, biographies, almost everything. Yet still just the tip of an iceberg which it could become. 

If you’re wanting to keep a sensible number of books in your house, or are considering joining the e-reader community, below are some options for recycling, reusing and rehoming your best to worst books. Waste not, want not. Sharing is caring. Take care of the planet, and the planet will take care of you. Any more for any more?

Watch out for a post coming soon on how to make your own unique book marks from old books (sorry page lovers). 





  • Art and crafts there are so many things you can do with a book and why pay for expensive art when you can create it? 
  • Shredding for bedding if you have small furries, this can be a great free way for DIY pet bedding. Great for guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, rabbits, rats, mice and birds. 
  • Recycling centres for really tattered broken books that nobody can read.
  • Kindling for the reader who loves a barbecue or bonfire but doesn’t fork out for fire lighters.
  • Gift wrap for small items at memorable moments.
  • Book planter indoors will last longer, but can be used anywhere.
  • Book clock if you’re handy with your hands.
  • Book coat rack some books cannot be saved.

  • Book swaps saves money, paper and helps others. If you know other avid readers, why not suggest starting a book swap? This can be done at work, with friends or neighbours.
  • Book book ends simple, effective, but blends in for that library look.
  • Book stack table who needs to buy a table when you can build one from books?
  • Book headboard a librarian’s dream come true for a perfect bed.
  • Book groups those old favourites can be shared with your book discussion group or donated to them.
  • Scrap book or journals are sacred to the owners, so why not use a book to be one of a kind? Stick straight onto the pages or glue some paper for a diary. Doubles the value of secrecy. 
  • Donate to charities, libraries, education centres, schools, childcare facilities, online or to local used bookstores. 
  • Resell at car boot sales, used book shops, online or via social media. 
  • Gift to friends, family members, co-workers or neighbours. Turn recommend to a friend into pass onto a friend. 
  • Local book trade put a greenhouse outside your property, fill it with those well loved books you’re ready to pass on and stick up a friendly notice. You may start a trend and make some conversations, even a friend perhaps.
  • Leave books free for strangers in public (preferably poorer areas) by securing them in a plastic see-through wallet and adding a sticker that says ‘read me, love me, pass me on’.

Apologies to the portion of people out there hugely offended by the notion of damaging any book, no matter how literary trash is most definitely is. It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. The same is said for books. 

Maybe those people can politely persuade their book burning friends to relinquish the orphaned novels to them before their ultimate demise. Books are special. Every piece of them; chapter, page, word… they should be cherished, no matter what form. 

There’s a never-ending list of options. Are you a creative? Try your thumbs on this trick and send a photo to @ApplebyInk of your book art creations via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

Reduce Reuse Recycle Books

Jess French average rating 4.34 — 88 ratings 

From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want

From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want 

 4.48  ·   Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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